Adam Sachs: Brief conversations with anonymous food industry folks

Q: Who is the hottest woman in food? A: Martha Stewart. Q: Of all time? A: Yes, of all time!

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Meredith Arthur: Hines wins Best Chef: Northwest

I hadn't heard of Seattle-based chef Maria Hines, but she made a great entrance. She was out cooking for the event and came running in to accept her Best Chef: Northwest award in the nick of time. When she did make it to the stage she thanked her wife for allowing her to put a lien on the house to open the restaurant. It was adorable and showed how truly hardworking chefs really are.

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Snack: The reception doesn't start for hours

But they've been setting up since this afternoon.

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Jody Williams: Women and money

Jamie Leeds---the chef of Hank's Oyster Bar and Commonwealth Gastropub in Washington, D.C.---has three restaurants. She did it in five years. Women need to talk about money: how did you finance your restaurants? Leeds cashed out her 401k and mortgaged her house! Advice to the young: follow your dream even if you have to buy secondhand plates!

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Winners!

Be sure to check our twitter feed (on the right side of your screen) to see the winners as they're announced!

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Adam Sachs: Reverse martinis

A crowded press room. People in black tie watching the awards on TV. There is a palpable need for strong martinis. We're in luck. Sort of. The lovely Charlotte Voisey, William Grant & Sons mixologist, has a plan to save us all from our worst instincts. Tonight at the Hendricks Gin Bar she's serving thematically correct Reverse Martinis. "This was Julia Childs's favorite cocktail---very sophisticated and Julia knew best that too much ethanol before dinner killed your palate. Instead of 5-to-1 gin to vermouth, she drank 5-to-1 vermouth to gin." For tonight's VIP dinner, Voisey is swapping Lillet for vermouth. "It seemed right that we pay tribute to Julia with this drink." Fitting and probably saving VIP from standing for Very Inebriated Press.

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Jody Williams: Cracking the glass ceiling

I asked 22 year-old CIA graduate Nicole whether it's still harder for women in the kitchen. She says women still have to work twice as hard. Her boss, Maria Hines of Tilth (who works for love and finances her own restaurant), tells women to stand their ground and become chefs!

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Meredith Arthur: The wine director of Le Bernardin

Aldo Sohm is adorable and entirely self deprecating. He just won for Outstanding Wine Service. Now they are opening old wounds and Ted Allen is recapping last night's award ceremonies (I lost in the webcast category and CHOW lost in the website category), which has me already looking forward to next year.

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Snack: The press room gets more crowded every year

  Which is a good thing as it means there's more and more interest. I think we need a bigger room and more cocktail sponsors! photo

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Meredith Arthur: Stanley Tucci

He's hosting this evening apparently because he plays Paul Child in the upcoming film Julie and Julia--he's brought a special sneak peek with him, he says. I'm looking forward to it since like everyone else I am enchanted by any story I can find of Julia and Paul's relationship. By the way, SF hometown boy Nate Appleman just won rising star of the year, first award of the night.

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